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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 14, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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>> thanks for staying with us on this busy, busy news day. we begin tonight with an announcement from the president of the united states. not this one. i mean the last one. >> for years my administration is calling on congress to expand domestic oil production. unfortunately democrats on capitol hill have rejected virtually every proposal. one of the most important steps we can take to expand oil production is to increase access to offshore exploration on the outer
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continental shelf or what's called the ocs. today i issued a memorandum to lift the executive prohibition on oil exploration on the ocs. >> that was president george w. bush to lift the presidential ban on the oil drilling in the outer continental shelf. it was a presidential ban put in place by president bush's dad in 1990 after the big exxon valdez disaster in alaska. here is why bush the second said he was lifting the drilling ban of bush the first. >> many advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the ocs that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats and protects against oil spills. >> see? the technology is so safe now there's no need to worry about oil spills anymore. now, as i mentioned, president george w. bush was rescinding the presidential drilling ban his father put in place after the exxon valdez disaster. he was sort of trying to box
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congress into repealing congress' drilling ban as well. congress' ban was even older than the presidential ban. congress' ban was put in place starting in the early 1980s. >> with this action the executive branch's restrictions on this explorationor have been cle cleared away. this means the only thing standing between the american people and these vast oil resources is action from the u.s. congress. the congress has restricted access to key parts of the ocs since the early 1980s. >> why had congress done that? why had congress restricted offshore drilling since the early 1980s? ah, because of this. the ixtach oil well blowup in the of mexico in 1979. they did not cap it until well into 1980. it released 140 million gallons of oil into the gulf of mexico. in trying to figure out what to do about that, congress decided
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to put a moratorium on drilling of hundreds of thousands of acres of waters. sorry, no more drilling. did you see what happened, people? after a huge spill like that, you can see how politicians at the time maybe might want to stop and reassess things for a while. after that big disaster, that's what congress did. after the big exxon valdez disaster, that's what the first president bush did. and after the most recent bp oil disaster in the gulf, that's what president obama has done, implementing a six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling. moratoriums on drilling are what we have done in the past to respond to big oil disasters. the idea, presumably, is we're going to make drilling safer before we allow it to expand again. even though president bush touted that supposed improved safety back in twoi 2008 when he was lifting the presidential moratorium, we no longer have to take anyone's sober assurances about things like that. that issue has been factually
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conclusively settled. the oil industry in 2010 is proving conclusively day after every single freaking day that what they do is really not safe. they're routinely drilling at depths where they have no idea how to respond if anything goes wrong. they admit it now in word and in deed every single day. >> tomorrow bp plans to send down the containment dome to cover one of the two remaining leaks, but this has never been tried before at 5,000 feet under the sea. >> this rice university professor says this has never been tried in water so deep. >> i hope it works. it has not been used at that depth before. >> these vessels started the long-awaited top kill procedure this afternoon, a maneuver never tried before a mile beneath the sea. >> they never attempted to put cement down at this depth. >> something never done at that depth before. >> we've got the junk shot methods and we've also got
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another method, which is to put a valve on the top of the system or a new blowout preventer. >> but, again, you've never attempted any of these at this dept depth. >> that's right, meredith. that's right. >> that's right. all of the techniques, the ones that sound good, that sound dumb, that sound made-up, all of them that have been tried so far to stop the bp oil disaster, all of them have never been tried before at this depth. doesn't that make you wonder how many other american wells are out there right now where if something went wrong they couldn't fix it? doesn't it kind of seem like a wake-up call that the safety technology has to get way better before it can ever again be considered safe to drill that deep? not if you're an oil company. here's shell oil in a posting on their website more than a month after the deep water horizon oil rig exploded celebrating the world's deepest offshore oil platform located 200 miles off the texas coast. whoo-hoo, top that! the oil industry has already proven it doesn't know how to
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deal with a spill at 5,000 feet, but here's shell oil bragging about the new well moored in 8,000 feet of water. hey ann rand fans, hey liber tear krtearians, if you were we counting on the industry to police itself in the wake of this bp disaster, this is what that looks like. this bp oil disaster may have spooked all of us watching it at home, but it clearly has not spooked the industry. and it apparently hasn't spooked politicians who love the industry either. republican governor haley barbour of mississippi who met with president obama as he toured the gulf today pledged to deliver the message that gulf coast citizens want more deep water drilling. there's no reason for it to stop, he says. there's no reason for this totally unnecessary moratorium. >> we need to get to the bottom of it and find out what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again, but i think it is very reasonable to continue to drill. >> don't you love this "we need
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to get to the bottom of this" thing? we need to find out what happened. here's a hint, governor. the well blew out 5,000 feet below sea level so they can't fix it it. oil companies don't know how to fix it when something goes on in really deep water, it turns out, which is my maybe -- which is why they should have to figure that out before they keep drilling in really deep water. really need a study for this? this idea is really that mystifying to you? joining us now is bob cavnar, he's a 30-year veteran of the oil and gas industry. he headed up an investigation. thank you for joining us tonight. >> good evening. >> you started in the oil and gas industry in the mid-'70s. can you tell us what substantial advancements have been made in cleanup and oil spill response technology since then, if there have been any? >> rachel, the amazing thing is in the last 30-plus years i've been in this business, we've had
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huge leaps in technology in terms of being able to drill deeper and farther and in deeper water, but there's been almost no growth or no money spent in safety systems and recovery from large oil spills. we're doing the same thing we were doing 30 years ago. >> is there concern within the industry about that, or is this just raw incentives that the incentives are not there in terms of regulatory structure and legal liability to push the industry in that direction? >> the problem with the oil and gas industry is it often gets on the wrong side of really important issues, and regulation oversight and cleanup of large spills like this don't really make the top ten. that's a lot of the problem we have in this industry where we don't focus on those issues that affect everyone besides just the industry. >> one of the things that we've
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learned about over the past couple of months, as we've all learned to read the permit applications and the filings with the government is that the oil industry predicted the chances of a blowout like what happened at the deep water horizon, they predicted that the chances of a blowout there were essentially zero. i wanted to ask you if your insight from inside the industry, did they actually believe that the chance of a blowout is zero or are they conscious that's what they have to say in order to get a permit? >> this is part of the complacent see that i've talked over the last couple months or so that the industry has experienced. the industry actually has thought that a chance of a blowout like this was zero or close to zero or that they had the technology to stop it if it did happen. the problem with drilling in deep water like this, it's sort of like driving a car from the back seat. you can reach the steering wheel, but you're not very good at getting it to go where you want it to go. that's a lot of the problem in
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the deep water. >> do you think just from your professional experience that there is a way to safely drill in deep water? one of the things that us laymen us people that don't know the industry all that well have been thinking about is the idea of the relief well with. if that's the only sure way to shut down an out of control well, should there be a relief well with every well? >> right. i've been talking a lot about the relief well with other people, the concept of drilling two wells at the same time. the problem there is that you have just as much safety issues with the relief well as you do with with the primary well. the real issue here is making sure that the well is controlled at the sea floor with the blowout preventer. and i've got to tell you right now i have no confidence that what we have now is sufficient to continue drilling. i support this moratorium and in fact i'm not sure it's long enough to really do the redesign that needs to happen. >> over the course of the moratorium, which you say you
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support, is there any way to make the industry innovate, i guess, make the industry concentrate on the safety field and develop in that regard, or should we expect them just to wait out the moratorium, expect political pressure from governors like haley barbour and bobby jindal without spending money on safety? >> i would call for the industry to take steps without government intervention, but i don't think it's going to happen. i think it's going to require a fairly strict regulatory regime to get the industry to redesign sea floor control before we go back to drilling in the deep water. >> bob cavnar is a 30-year veteran of the oil industry. thank you very much for helping us understand this tonight. i really appreciate it. >> happy to be here, rachel. >> so you know how i've been ranting and raving for the past couple of weeks about what i just talked to mr. cavnar about, how the oil industry didn't bother developing any technology to deal with oil spills.
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they put their r & d into how to drill deeper and not how to clean up when drilling goes wrong. nbc's tom costello asked bp a direct question about that. their answer? duh. first of all, they admitted they haven't done anything on safety, but their explanation for why they haven't done anything on safety will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. if you do not have hair on the back of your neck, it will make you grow some like wolverine. that's next.
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thomas costello from nbc got a one-on-one interview with the chief operating officer of bp on board a bp helicopter. tom asked a bunch of what i have been dying to ask bp. among his great pointy questions was one about the mythical caribbean walrus and its role in bp's oil spill response plan. to refresh your memory, the response plan by bp, the one specific to the gulf of mexico lists walruses who only live in very, very cold waterer among the species you'd have to worry about in the event of an oil spill. in the gulf of mexico. and that gave away the fact that the company had obviously not even bothered to make a gulf of mexico-specific spill response plan. they just cut and pasted whatever they had done from someplace cold, someplace with walruses and then called it the
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gulf of mexico response plan. my new hero, tom costello, asked doug from bp about the walruses in the company's gulf of mexico oil spill response plan, and here is the incredible response that he got. >> the spill plan that bp had that has been reported widely was talking about protecting walruses and sea otters and a main point of contact is someone who had died five years before the plan was ever created. did bp really take this seriously? >> well, i think you have to go in and look at that plan in detail. the document that refers to things like walruses and seals actually refers to species that can be heavily impacted by a spill and all species, not ones unique to the gulf. >> really? that's funny because, again, i can't really stress this enough, but the plan in which walruses appear on a list of possibly affected species is called the
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bp regional oil spill response plan for the gulf of mexico. oh, we meant to do that. we were talking about all species everywhere plus unicorns. that's not really an answer. it's not even a remotely believable answer. but that's not the worst or the most embarrassing answer that doug gave on that helicopter ride with tom costello. he also asked him about the oil industry truth with which i have become obsessed since this disaster started you might have noticed. tom costello asked why the drilling technology has come so far so fast while the cleanup after a spill technology is the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago. while i'm not exactly sure what i expected bp to say when somebody finally asked them this question, i definitely did not expect the answer you are about to hear from doug suttles.
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>> you know, i think a lot of americans are surprised that here we are dealing with the biggest oil disaster in u.s. history, and yet we're relying on technology to clean it up that is 30, 40, 50 years old. has the technology to clean up a spill just simply not advanced, and, if not, why not? >> tom, i'm not the best expert on the technology, but i think events like this typically advance the technology by leaps and bounds. wire still relying on booms, skimmers, shovels, 40 careers after the extoc spill in the gulf of mexico. why don't you have giant vacuum sucking tubes? why don't you the most high-tech 21st century response to this? >> tom, i think part of the reason is there's been so few big spills. the events haven't driven the technology change that's out there. i think this event properly will. >> hold on a second. the cleanup technology hasn't
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been developed because there haven't been enough oil spills. if only there had been some oil spilled somewhere in the last 40, 50 years, the oil industry would have been forced to come up with a better way to clean it up than the way they cleaned up, say, santa barbara in 1969, which is the same way we're trying to deal with this one 41 years later. if only, if only there had been some oil spills. that would have fixed this problem. mr. suttles, can we talk? i know this is going to be uncomfortable so i will make you a deal. i'm not going to talk about ikstock even though it was a huge environmental disaster, on an offshore oil rig in the gulf of mexico, eerily similar to the current disaster that happened 30 years ago only it was in 200 feet of water, no reason to come up with better cleanup technology. we will set it aside. we won't talk about any spills from the 1980s or the 1990s.
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let's talk about oil spills from the last decade. just in one country, let's pick the united states. for example, in 2003 a large barge hit some rocks near westport, massachusetts. massachusetts. let's see. dumped almost 100,000 gallons of oil into buzzards bay. several gallons in oil during the hurricane ivan in 2004. it will get crowded in louisiana. also in 2004 the tanker dumped more than 200,000 gallons of oil into the delaware river in new jersey. that same year the shipwreck turned oil spill off the coast of unalaska island. in 2005 during hurricane katrina there were oil spills all over the gulf coast in louisiana, in
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venice, west podash, in pilotown. according to coast guard estimates it's more than 7 million gallons of oil from source spilled during hurricane katrina. there was the devastating prudo bay oil spill in alaska in 2006. the amazing thing about that one with was that it wasn't even discovered until five days after the spill started up there. that didn't go well. oil spill at the citgo refinery in lake charles, louisiana, that year. they blamed heavy rain. heavy rain caused the 3 million gallon oil spill down there. in 2007 a cargo ship hit the san francisco/oakland bay bridge and dumped oil into the bay. remember that one? oh, yeah. we're not leaving you out, west coast. there was another oil spill in louisiana in 2008 when a tanker ran into a barge that messed up a john mccain photo op. a drill baby, drill photo op. that was really awkward. this year in january there was a collision at that caused a spill in port arthur, texas. that spill, of course, was followed by the explosion and
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the ensuing disaster in the gulf. oh, and since then, oh, there's more, just this weekend crude oil pipeline burst in salt lake ci city. so, again, though, it's only because there haven't been any spills that the oil industry hasn't bothered to come up with any new cleanup technology. if only there had been some spills, say, in the last 40 years. >> i think that probably part of the reason is there have been so few big spills. >> see, now, though, they're paying attention to this spill. this time it's going to be different. this spill will surely be enough to get the oil industry to update their cleanup technology for the first time since the 1960s. it's because they didn't notice those spills. this time it will be different. i'm sure they'll step up and take care of it. i'm sure they will.
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when john mccain and sarah palin lost to barack obama and joe biden in the last election, thus began the greatest show on earth. you thought the election was interesting. that was nothing. what has been the most unpredictable and fascinating thing in u.s. politics since the last election is watching the republican party reinvent itself after that loss. the always interesting dynamic between the republican party and the conservative movement has morphed this year to include the tea party protests in the street , some of which were populist
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and some were organizing feats. the party's vice presidential nominee sarah palin quit politics and became a full-time celebrity portfolio. the usually frosty relationship between establishment republicans and the libertarianish republicans got sort of forcibly warmed up when ron paul's presidential campaign honestly and earnestly energized huge numbers of young conservatives. as that movement did not just flash in the pan but dr. paul's son became a senate front-runner in the home state of the republican majority leader, republicans were forced to get over their disdain and embarrassment with the ron paul folks and try to embrace them. the militia movement and the john burch society came roaring back not only into the conservative movement but back into republican politics and refused to stay on the margins of those politics. it has been fascinating, and
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it's not over yet. the fact that sharon engel won the republican nomination to run against harry reid for senate in nevada gives us a new case study to watch it play out. sharon engel is on the far right conspiratorial fringe of republican politics, but she won the republican senate primary. and the most interesting thing about her since the election has been watching the republican establishment try to warm up to her and try to make her over into a more mainstreamy seeming candidate. first they shined up her web site to make it less beware of black helicoptersy. then there's the problem of her views. they're proving harder to shine. she told talking points she was a member of the oath keepers, a sort of militia-like organization that says law enforcement officers should refrain from orders to lock americans into concentration camps and turn american cities
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into huge prisons because, you know, that's coming. she also announced her oath keeper's membership at a candidates forum in february. >> i call myself an oath keeper. >> but now that sharon engel has won the republican senate primary, she's issued a clarification. >> i'm not a member of oath keepers, however i keep my oath of office to protect, defend and support the constitution. >> see? she is a keeper of oaths, not a capital o capital e oath keeper. then there's social security. >> we need to phase medicare and social security out. >> privatizing social security is so unpopular you couldn't sell it to the public if you called it the basket of puppies and sky full of rainbows bill.
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but sharon angle will not give up, will not back down. >> the idea of privatizing and getting medicare and associate security is not up for grabs. >> not up for grabs until it becomes an issue. it's so nuclear that even a very, very friendly fox news morning show could not avoid it. >> perhaps it's a misinformation or mischaracterization but some have said that you are out to get rid of social security. >> that's not true, right? please tell us that's not true. there's no way you can run for office like in the senate, you want to be a senator, and want to be against one of the most successful safety nets the world has known. please tell us what we want to hear! >> what we need to do is personalize social security and medicare so the government can no longer raid it. >> yes! personalize social security. things that are personal can't be considered quite private. so that whole personalized misunderstanding makes total
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sense. she is a keeper of oaths and not a oath keeper now. when she said privatize social security before, she definitely meant personalize it it, not privatize it, which is what she said. having sharon angle run against harry reid is fascinating enough, but having the national republican party trying to pretend it's not really that sharon angle running against harry reid is turning out to be a political science work of art. joining us is chris hayes. washington editor of the nation magazine. chris, nice to have you on the program, my friend. nice to see you. >> good to see you, too. i got some horrible distaupe ick vision of the future of weather broadcasting in front of that map. that all they're going to do is be showing where oil spills are instead of the weather. >> it was a little mad, i have to admit. the real problem was when i left all the little latex oil blobs we cut out in craft class today in the office, and i left them up over the big picture of sharon angle by accident. it was very -that was very, very disconcerting. anyway, so how do you making against fluoride and the oath keepers thing and getting rid of social security, how do you make that all a go away with when
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it's all on the record? >> well, you don't make it go away. there's two strategies they tend to use here. one is the real big lesson from rand paul. don't ever set foot anywhere near anyone but the most sympathetic conservative press. so i think that that clearly is going to be the strategy going forward. and one of the things is that the conservative media machine is so massive, it's almost possible to run a whole campaign in which you more or less just operate in that bubble and relegate the rest of the press to sort of second order reporting of the things you said. so there's no follow-up questions, anything like that. then the other thing is just not to change the view, not to actually repudiate anything, just kind of hedge on the language. that's what you just pointed out, personalization versus privatization. i'll keep my oaths versus being an oath keeper. there's no repudiation. they're not running away from the crazy views like fluoride is
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an international communist conspiracy, et cetera. >> where do you draw the line between what needs to be too kooky and must be scrubbed and what just makes you a bona fide 2010 republican? what do you decide not to repudiate? do we know where that line is? >> that line has been obliterated, i think. that's the key lesson here of her being the nominee. that line has been totally obliterated. ben smith on politico is reporting that the earlier reviews on her meeting in new york was that she killed, totally wowed them. there's this weird kind of moving together of the sort of pairens of the party in the establishment with the grassroots. they're both jumping off this crazy right wing cliff together. i don't think there's distinguishing anymore. i'm not sure how much it fakes on the part of the establishment. there's this kind of echo effect taking over where everybody is sort of gyrating to the right together. >> but i sort of feel like the -- i mean, it's not the center so i shouldn't say the
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center cannot hold. but i just feel like things do fall apart in political coalitions like this. >> yes. >> so i feel like i'm expecting some dissent from mainstream republican party figures even as the mitch mcconnells of the world rally around her. >> you know, i am not expecting that dissent. the dissent is going to have to come from the voters, frankly. it will have to come from the critical press that subjects her views to the proper amount of scrutiny. she should be asked in debates to explain why she thinks fluoride is an international conspiracy. she should have to explain her views on the u.s. bra withdrawing from the u.n. she should have to defend all these sort of black helicopter views in front of the populous and two with skeptical reporters. and the dissent comes from repudiation from the voters, by the reid campaign and press subjecting that. i don't see the republican establishment repudiating anything. they don't repudiate anything
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anymore. they really don't. it's this if you project confidence, the whackiest thing out of people's mouths is normal if we say it's normal. >> among the people who have been able to interview sharon angle since the election, fox and friends and rush limbaugh, et cetera. >> exactly. >> i have not yet found the skeptical, hard-hitting reporter. >> i'm sure you'll have her on the program any day now. >> yeah, right. washington editor of the nation, thank you for joining us tonight, chris. >> thank you, too. rachel. did you hear the story about the giant brand new discovery of trillions of dollars worth of minerals in afghanistan and how it will change everything? if that's how you heard that story, you probably want to stick around to hear the context, which is probably going to change how you pass that story on, if you choose to do so. plus, banning booze. how hard that was to do and how dumb that was to do, coming up.
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>> it was a page a-1 above the fold headline in the "new york times" this morning -- u.s. identifies mineral riches in afghanistan. according to the article, there's nearly a trillion dollars worth of mineral wealth in afghanistan that is enough to fundamental alter the economy and the war itself. the "times" reporting that afghanistan is full of iron,
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copper, gold and enough lithium for afghanistan to become the saudi arabia of lithium. who knew we even needed such a thing? it's a big deal story, holy cow. just when you thought the war was going badly, a new reason to hang in there. look at all the mineral wealth in afghanistan. we cannot abandon afghanistan now. the thing is, this is not new. as lots of other journalists have noted today, the "times" describes how maps of afghanistan mineral deposits were with around since the 1970s. geologists did a new study three years ago, but the pentagon told the "new york times" no one connected the dots between the minerals and what it meant for afghanistan's economy until last year. that's what pentagon sources told "the times." that doesn't appear to be true either. according to this u.s. geological press release from
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2007 afghanistan's mineral resources were a subject of the third annual u.s. annual matchmaking conference in washington, d.c., in 2007. so this isn't new, and this is not even one of those things where people hadn't connected the dots before. this is not to deny the potential for minerals to make a big difference to afghanistan, it's just it's no secret they have major mineral wealth. nobody has figured out how to mine or monetize any of it, but folks have known it's there for a very long time. and anyone looking for a good news, let's stay in afghanistan story, is going to have to work harder than this.
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you know what wasn't an awesome time in the united states? 1922 to 1934. know how that unawesome time got that way? #
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if you feel passionately about an issue and want to change politics to reflect your way of thinking, how do you do it? do you try to find other people trying to change the country and make common cause with them? that's the approach of the family research council. sure, they want america to be a really miserable place to be a gay person, that's one of their priorities, but it's not their only cause. they try to link that cause to other causes to making abortion illegal, to banning sex ed. they want christian prayer in
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public schools. another approach is to go it alone and stay focused on one cause, to make alliances of convenience for your cause no matter what other politics that entails. to just be single-minded. an example would be the nra. people belong to the nra have all sorts of other politics, but it's focused like a laser-guided scope on gun rights. they want folks on the terrorist watch list to have gun rights. they want felons to have gun rights. they want crazy people to have gun rights. if you want an assault rifle with a magazine to take out a whole american schoolyard on a 50 caliber gun that can take down an aircraft, if you want the right to carry weapons like that and you don't want a background check and you want to wear those weapons to your neighborhood bar, the nra has got your cold, dead back. they are with you. yes, that approach sounds crazy if you're trying to build a broad-based political alliance or run for office or something. but if you're the nra, you're
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not trying to do that. you're single issue. you're nothing but gun rights. so if you want to try to change the country, you can try to build and be part of a big movement or focus relentlessly on a single issue. which approach works better in america? in the sort of insane fight for prohibition in this country, the fight to ban booze more than a century ago, it wasn't the revolutionary do everything one big movement folks who pushed prohibition across the finish line. it was the anti-saloon league. relentless, single issue, sort of like the nra. quote, as practiced by the anti-saloon league, democracy was a form of coercion. the league's founder was direct about this. it's formed for the purpose of administering political retribution. the anti-saloon league did not seek to win majorities. it played on the margins or whether the controls or one heef tenth of the voters could count on them. you could check a republican today and a democrat tomorrow so long as the candidates were faithful.
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with that approach, the anti-saloon league won something so giant and unlikely and massively consequential and stupid that we have ever since set about pretending we never did it. they got the constitution of the united states changed that for 13 big dumb years it was illegal to buy or sell a drink in this country and they did by convincing anyone with any interest to ban booze to pull together for with them for prohibition. single-minded focus. we're less able than we used to be to be able to forget this incredible and incredibly dumb, long chapter in the history because of book from which i pulled that quote from the anti-saloon league. daniel has just written what is the definitive history of prohibition. it's called "last call: the rise and fall of prohibition" and i believe it is the bee's knees. >> i'll drink to that. >> exactly. nice to meet you. congratulations on the book. >> thank you very much.
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>> i know that relative political strategies and strengths of anti-drinking groups is not the main focus of the book, but i'm obsessed with this as a feat of political organizing. what it took to get the country to do something this big. >> it's extraordinary. there were only two things in the constitution that limits the rights of individuals. constitution limits the power of government. you couldn't own slaves and you couldn't get a drink. the fact that these two things were equal in the constitution is quite extraordinary. >> you think about what it took to get the first of those. >> they only cared about one one, but they took advantage of anybody else they could. they took advantage of the women's suffrage movement. they supported prohibition in exchange for them supporting suffrage because they knew women who were victims of the bad drinking in the 19th century were more likely to support them. secondarily, the tax movement. this is a real shocker to me. until 1910, 40% of federal revenue came from the excise tax on liquor and beer. >> 40%. >> because there was no income
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tax then. so you couldn't have prohibition unless you came up with another tax. so the prohibition said, yes, we're with you, the income tax people. they picked groups of oh, put togtd a company alitigation that stretched from the klu klux klan to the industrial workers of the world. it's extraordinary. >> i feel like the connection because so many of the symbols that have survived prohibition are female. i feel like if we think about prohibition at all, we associated it with suffrage, noble quotes about women and the vote. what was the connection to women with and banning booze? >> women in the 19th century had no legal rights, no property rights, and the man would go off to the loon saloon and he would come back drunk, having spent the mortgage money, he would come home with syphilis. the idea of getting rights for women was very much tied into stopping that and developing some rights for them and their relationships with their
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husband. susan b. anthony began with a temperance work. when she wasn't allowed to speak, she thait, i bher get us a vote. >> you think about the prohibition era which i think you have row mantized a lot. pre-prohibition, drinking as you say, public drinking was men only. legal but men only. during prohibition it was illegal to drink but it was no lo longer just men. >> suddenly the saloon which was a male-only place became a speak easy and it was against the rules so we'll break down social rules as well. women come into the bar. if you have women in bar you might have dancing. nightclubs wouldn't have happened without prohibition. >> women also important not only in banning booze, important in the social transformation. women also important in unbanning booze, in repealing prohibition. >> the key figure was a woman named paul lean morton, an
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heiress to the morton salt fortune. when she came out in 1929 exception prohibition, it became acceptable for women to take that position. she went on the road, would speak to the junior leaguers. it made a huge difference. >> the story of prohibition is also a great story of the great depression and depression era economics. give me some sense of the size of the black market that prohibition created. i mean, the government and everybody is totally broke. how much is al capone's organization making? the total was $3.6 billion is the best estimate of what was going into the illegal black market of booze at any time during the 1920s, which was slightly more than the entire federal budget at the time. and it was all untaxed. it was a wonderful business to be in if you were capone. capone was just a kid, 25 years old when he took over chicago. he was gone by the time he was 30 but he did damn well while he was there. >> just to reiterate, the black market, the dollar value of the black market in booze, dwarfed
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the budget of the federal government. >> didn't dwarf it. they were close. >> author of "last call the rise and fall of prohibition." this really is for me the definitive reference at this point for the era. it's so well with written. thank you for coming in. >> thank you, too. >> appreciate it. coming up on "countdown," keith talks with vick raul, south carolina democrat that alvin green beat to win the nomination for south carolina to get the chance to run against jim demint. next on this show, kent jones found himself in a bar full of englishmen in a saturday afternoon for the big england/u.s. soccer match. he survived, sort of.
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traditionally america is less psyched than the rest of the planet about the world cup you. low scoring games, no hands, referees in shorts. you can go ahead and ignore this year's world cup action if you'd like. but you've got to know if you are ignoring it you are missing out. you are missing pairg way, pairg way, actually tying the mighty italian squad 1-1. they tied italy. italy won the world cup four years ago. pair agay tied them. denmark scoring a goal against themselves. and the guy looking remarkably happy. you're mrising the loudest plastic trumpets in the world. and we're only day noose if. the big match over the weekend the u.s. versus england.
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as if relations weren't tense enough already, we sent kent jones to mcgee's pub here in new york to catch way too much of the action. >> the united states and england have long enjoyed a special relationship. until today when all of that goes in the dumper. do you know how many times the u.s. has won the world cup? >> nine times. >> america doesn't really involve on the field with england, do they? >> never should be close to the football. it's handball for you guys. >> the one position you're better than us is tim howard. he's far, far better than green. >> and lebron james, he's, like, great. go ahead and say it, soccer players, they're great-looking guys, right? >> i'm waiting for argentina and italy actually. >> it's all about that. >> from what i see, the u.s. is a lot better looking team. >> the u.s. is better looking so they will win even if they don't. >> i'm going to go throw it back to a year called 1776 when we
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took england once and we're going to take them again. >> yeah, england, what's up with that, right? >> we don't drink tea here. >> so that happened really quickly. really quickly. >> goal! >> 1-1, i believe. how's it going? >> i want the ground to swallow me up right now. we're playing against a bunch of part-timers. >> thanks for the pat ronizing. i think it's 1-1. >> usa! usa! >> only in the u.s. are you happy with a tie. >> that sounded a little bit like sour grapes. >> usa! usa! usa! >> i love the guy who says, i want the ground to swallow me


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